Srinivasan Iyer, Assistant Country Director and Head, Environment and Energy unit, UNDP India in his presentation on governance challenges and emerging issues to Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation in India highlighted various threats to coastal and marine biodiversity such as habitat loss and degradation with India losing one-third of its mangroves in the past 40 years; unsustainable use and overexploitation of fisheries; pollution; invasive alien species; and climate change.
Pramod Krishnan, UNDP, provided a case study of an ecological development project on resource mobilization for tiger conservation in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, India. He observed that the reserve plays a crucial role as a pilgrimage site and in ensuring regional connectivity, noting that 250,000 million people surround the park with 35,000 directly dependent on the park’s resources. He highlighted resulting challenges including access, resource use and impacts on livelihoods. He explained that eco-development is a management tool aimed at improving capacity to manage biodiversity, empower local communities and foster partnerships. He noted positive outcomes including converting poachers to park protectors and controlling unregulated pilgrimages.
Professor MS Swaminathan, Member of Parliament and Chairman Emeritus, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and Dr. Purandeswari, Minister of State for Human Resource Development release the GEF-UNDP publication on East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystems at the side event on Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation in India organized by MSSRF, UNDP and IUCN. Also present are Nik Sekhran, Head-Biodiversity and Ecosystems, UNDP and Perkin Scott, Regional Head of Biodiversity, IUCN.
Pramod Krishnan, UNDP, discussed PA governance in India, noting the impacts of climate change on India’s ecosystems, which comprise four biodiversity hotspots, ten bio-geographic zones and 256 forest types. Krishnan noted institutional, knowledge and community challenges to India’s PA governance, and called for applying IUCN classification of PAs to India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. He discussed impacts of climate change on India’s ecosystem functionality, including: shifts in ecosystem types; proliferation of invasive species; coral bleaching; habitat fragmentation; and increasing man-animal conflicts.
CBD COP11 (09/10/12): In this interview with Responding to climate Change (RTCC), Preeti Soni, Advisor, Climate Change, UNDP India, discusses the merits of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change, and how UNDP’s projects such as in the Gulf of Mannar, are helping in sustainable conservation of biodiversity. “Ecosystem-based adaptation are natural solutions based on natural resources and ecosystems for looking at climate change as well as for helping people build resilience and adapt to climate change,” added Ms Soni.
Nik Sekhran, UNDP, described Incan adaptation to rainfall variation in the Andes through terrace building to prevent erosion and flooding. Sekhran observed that past adaptation methods might not be applicable given different socioeconomic circumstances today. He also highlighted ecosystem restoration considerations in the Seychelles, noting that functionality tests, such as water consumption, are used to determine whether to use native or alien tree species in the existing forests.
Preeti Soni, UN Development Programme (UNDP), presented India’s experiences in EBA and conducting climate change vulnerability assessments. Reflecting on the case of Madhya Pradesh, she highlighted the value of incorporating the perceptions of local communities. Despite positive aspects of the approach, she observed some challenges, including: limited formal recognition; financial constraints; and community and political pressures. In conclusion, Soni said proactively streamlining EBA into climate change adaptation projects is crucial for the India’s National Adaptation Plan.
About Rebeca Grynspan
Rebeca Grynspan was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective 1 February, 2010. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan was elected Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.
Projects and Initiatives
- Biodiversity Conservation Through Community-Based Natural Resource Management
- Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation into Production Sectors in the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem, Andhra Pradesh
- Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve's Coastal Biodiversity
- Strengthening Institutional Structures to Implement the Biological Diversity Act
Stories of Change
UNDP has partnered with the Government of Tamil Nadu to demonstrate the possibilities of conserving the environment and encouraging sustainable development processes in the Gulf of Mannar.
In Eye of the Forest: Conserving Biodiversity, Building Sustainable Futures
Recognizing the close communion between communities and natural resources, UNDP is supporting several initiatives in Chhattisgarh to help communities conserve traditional knowledge, build awareness on conservation-friendly gathering practices and help people, particularly women access the market to sell their produce.
International Training Workshop on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants including Documenting, Assessment and Promotion of Local Health Traditions
Date: 2-7 October 2012
Venue: Institute for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bengaluru, India
- XI Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Conference of Parties (CoP)
- Provisional Agenda of CBD CoP 11
- Government of India
- State Government of Andhra Pradesh, India
- Global Environment Facility (GEF)
- About India
- UNDP India Blog: Biodiversity – A Time to Act | Srinivasan Iyer
- UNDP India Blog: Creating Agricultural Entrepreneurs in Jharkhand- Lessons from a UNDP Biodiversity Project | Ruchi Pant